Research Reports

Minnesota Low Volume Road Design 1998

Principal Investigator:

Eugene L Skok, Dave Newcomb, David H Timm

September 1999

Report no. Mn/DOT 1999-34

Topics: Low-volume roads, Pavement design for cold climates

In this project, researchers examined the current practices that local agencies use and evaluated the thickness design procedures by comparing predicted lives for the current designs with those obtained from the mechanistic-empirical design procedure ROADENT. Researchers determined current practices by sending a questionnaire to all cities and counties and visiting two counties and one city. In general, the questionnaire responses show that cities and counties use a variety of practices for the design, construction, and management of low volume pavements in Minnesota. Relative to the current designs, ROADENT predictions of fatigue behavior require a thicker design for medium and high-traffic roads than the Soil Factor design, and a thicker design for high-traffic roads than the R-Value procedure. The required thicknesses based on development of rut depth are not consistent with the current designs. To develop consistent procedures for the design, construction, and management of low volume roads in Minnesota, the report recommends converting the differences in performance predictions to thicknesses through the use of existing procedures and the mechanistic-empirical procedure; developing a best practices manual; and implementing the design procedure and manual.

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